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Atotonilco Wastewater Treatment Plant

Atotonilco Wastewater Treatment Plant

Infrastructure 360° Award

  • Author: Zofnass Program
  • Date Posted: 2016
  • Category:
  • Address: Atotonilco de Tula, MEXICO

Research director:

Dr. Andreas Georgoulias


Research core team:

Cristina Contreras, ENV-SP

Judith Rodriguez, ENV-SP


Case study written by:

Jessica Bello, Master of Architecture in Urban Design 16´

US $686 million investment

158 Hectares

Treats 60% of the wastewater in Mexico

Creates 4000 jobs for construction / 150 during operation

Phase: Started operation December 2015

Sponsor: Promotora del Desarrollo de América Latina, S.A. de c.v.

The Atotonilco wastewater treatment plant is located in the municipality of Atotonilco de Tula, in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The 158-hectare plant will treat and process up to 60% of the black water generated in the Valley of Mexico by 10.5 million people. With a treatment capacity of 35,000 litres of water per second, the project will bring major social, environmental and economic benefits to the area. In particular, it will have a direct impact on the quality of life of the region of Mezquital Valley, with a population of 700,000, as this area receives most of the wastewater of the Valley of Mexico.

From an environmental and social perspective, the project brings substantial sanitation and health benefits to farmers and local communities, as crops will from now on be irrigated with cleaner water, instead of the currently-used polluted water which poses serious environmental and public health concerns. Atotonilco will also have a strong socioeconomic impact in the area as it will create 4,000 jobs during the construction stage and will employ another 150 to operate the plant. The project will use the biogas produced during the digestion process to generate 32 MW of electricity and meet the up to 70% of the energy demands of the facility, increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

Mexico’s National Water Commission (CONAGUA) commissioned the consortium Aguas Tratadas del Valle de Mexico the design, construction, and operation of the plant. The consortium is made up by Promotora de Desarrollo de América Latina S.A. de C.V. (IDEAL), Acciona Agua S.A., Atlatec S.A. de C.V., Desarrollo y Construcciones Urbanas S.A. de C.V. (DYCUSA) and Green Gas.


For further info, download executive summary in EN|SP and full text in EN|SP.